Last night, with the help of my friends, I embarked on a deep, dark journey. I, for some reason, was determined to come up with our “College Playlist.” This would consist of the songs that we played very loudly over our stereo system at parties and while playing ping pong. Because those are the only two things we did in college — partied and played ping pong. I came up with an initial list and then sent it to a handful of guys to come up with the rest of the list. The list is — in a word — incredible. I’m fully prepared to be judged and ridiculed. However, before you do that I urge you to look back on your co-ed college days and come up with your list.
Here are a few notes before you take a look. First, we never voluntarily played Big & Rich’s “Coming to Your City.” It, however, was played during ESPN’s college football broadcast every Saturday morning. Meaning — we heard it a lot. Also, we never played Frou Frou at a party. But you all have got to remember the Garden State soundtrack. Who didn’t listen to that all the way through once a day? Finally, there are a lot of songs by a band called Coheed & Cambria on this list. I’m sorry; I’m not sorry. This band rocked. Hard.
If you have Spotify and you want to listen here’s the link [click here]
Drum roll please…
(1) T.I. - What You Know
(2) Drive-By Truckers - Decoration Day
(3) Cam’Ron - Down and Out
(4) Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
(5) T.I. - Bring Em Out
(6) Jimmy Eat World - 23
(7) Coheed and Cambria - Blood Red Summer
(8) Fabolous - Breathe
(9) Coheed and Cambria - A Favor House Atlantic
(10) T.I. - Rubber Band Man
(11) The Roots - The Seed (2.0)
(12) Lil Wayne - Go DJ
(13) Coheed and Cambria - Three Evils
(14) Kanye West - Get Em High
(15) Van Halen - Jump
(16) Justin Timberlake ft. TI - My Love
(17) Frou Frou - Let Go
(18) The Shins - New Slang
(19) Clipse - Momma I’m So Sorry
(20) Big & Rich - Comin’ To Your City
(21) Mike Jones - Still Tippin’
*Not on Spotify playlist, but played a lot [copyright issues, I guess]
Full disclosure — this isn’t a new album. Not even relatively. It came out in 1977, but I listened to it for the first time a few weeks ago. I’ve rocked out to it a bunch lately.
If you have a bit of time and don’t mind some hard rocking, punk-ish stuff then go listen to Iggy Pop and James Williamson’s “Kill City”. You won’t regret it.
This album can be adequately summed up by an e-mail I got from my friend Nate after I introduced him to it. He said, “Holy shit. The brass. The brass.” Once you start listening you’ll know. Immediately.
For whatever reason, I started 2012 by going back and listening to some of my favorite albums from my youth. I reached beyond my undergraduate days to my early days of listening to music. While many of my close friends probably consider some of my music tastes sophomoric and over-the-top (e.g., a serious affinity for Huey Lewis and the News), I started listening to serious music early. When I was in fifth grade I listened to the Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. A lot.
Thinking back on these incredibly bright days of rock and roll, I decided to listen to some of the first few albums I remember owning.
I started with Pearl Jam’s Ten. I posted last summer that some friends and I jammed out to some of the highlights from that album (see Alive and Even Flow) on the way to the beach. But the album, as a whole, is remarkable. If you were like me and thought Eddie Vedder could do not wrong, I suggest going back and listening to this album in its entirety. While it’s abundantly clear that the two songs I listed above — along with Jeremy — are timeless and well-known, it’s the songs like Black that make this album a wholly awesome piece of rock and roll history.
R.E.M.’s Monster is the first compact disc I ever owned. I remember hearing What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? and thinking I really liked it. Now, I was a 9-year-old kid when this album came out. So I didn’t really get what was going on, but it was a damn good album. The other day as I rode around town running errands I played this album. It’s really good. As a kid, I probably listened to What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? over and over. But the whole album is excellent.
Most recently (as in today), I listened to Bringing Down the Horse by The Wallflowers. I was 11 years old when this album came out. And my older sister and I used to absolutely blast One Headlight around the house. Of all the albums I listed here, I really thought I wouldn’t like this as an adult. Wrong. It’s a good album from start to finish. The Dylan family knows how to write and make music. Kudos. While almost everyone who reads this blog who was born in the mid-80s will remember some of the singles from this album, I charge you to listen to the whole thing. It’s really good.
This has been an interesting process. Listening to music 15 years after you originally listened to it will really change your perspective. Or maybe it won’t. But it’s fun. And it goes to show you that the early 90s had some flat out unreal music. Go back and give it a try.
The beginning of law school finals signals one thing, and one thing only, to me — dressing like a slob. All semester long, including the weekends, I wear button-down shirts, nice jeans or khakis and nice shoes. For some reason, when exams begin I start wearing the same thing over and over again. The same pair of khakis will be worn until unbearable. Even after exams are over, I can’t muster the energy or desire to get spiffy. Recently, I’ve been wearing seriously stained and old Vans with khakis or jeans and old, old sweaters. This morning, Reckner commented on my recent apparel. And it, frankly, made me happy.
Me: Hey babe — is this OK to wear out?
Reckner: Jesus. You look like a homeless fisherman.
I know, I know — it’s 2012 — everyone is so over end-of-year lists. But I told everyone I would post my favorite movies, and I am a man of my word. Here’s the deal, I didn’t watch a ton of movies in 2011. In 2010, I saw every movie nominated for Best Picture. I watched a bunch of movies my movie-snob friend Britt told me to watch. This year, for whatever reason, I didn’t watch a ton of stuff. However, there were a few movies that I did watch that really did it for me. By the way, I’m not going to write really serious reviews that include a synopsis; rather, just my quick reaction to each movie. Here’s my top five list:
(5) Cedar Rapids
One Sunday afternoon when Reckner and I weren’t feeling too well, we watched this. It was weird. And it was a lot different than what we were expecting. But it was good. We both looked at each other after and simply said, “Hmmmm… Not sure what to think.” After thinking about it a while, I decided that it did exactly what it meant to. It was a dark comedy that touched on really serious issues that many people deal with.
(4) The Descendants
I like depressing movies and books. I like movies that don’t have overly complicated story lines, but have overly complicated emotional repercussions. This movie serves the latter. Clooney did what Clooney does well — acted his ass off. I read this morning that he is going to be in fewer movies and wants to work behind the scenes. While I’m going to miss his on-screen antics, he will leave an indelible mark on whatever he does. If you haven’t seen this movie — go see it. It’s really good.
(3) Bill Cunningham New York
This is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. It follows Bill Cunningham, the famed NY Times Style photographer. He’s a loner. His sexuality is ambiguous at best. His story is incredibly compelling. I’ve told many of my friends to watch this documentary. Even if you don’t care a thing about fashion, Cunningham’s story should resonate with many people. He is a man who is very passionate about something in his life. And many other aspects of his life are confusing and muddled.
(2) Another Earth
This is a really, really low budget movie. Two of my good friends suggested that I watch this movie — so I did. It’s almost impossible to explain what this movie is about. However, I have thought about this movie a lot. That’s the point. It makes you think. It makes you think about what this movie’s goal is. It makes you think about your core beliefs and your decision-making process. Plus, I kind of have a crush on the main character in the movie. Apparently, this movie is in RedBoxes now. I rented it through Amazon and watched it on my computer.
This movie encapsulates so many of my favorite things. Really good music. Badasses. And killer white leather jackets. Kidding. Kind of. This movie is epic. From its opening scene that reminded of me of old school 80s movies to the closing scene that was gut wrenching and upsetting I was hooked. I’m really looking forward to watching this movie again sometime soon.
A recent post Reckner put up on evaluating her 2011 New Year’s resolutions. Just a taste of what she will be offering. As you can tell, much more insight and thoughtfulness. Did someone just ask for a cat GIF or a picture of a leather chair? OK be right back.
1. See the big picture while wedding planning. Assessment: Yeah, I’m not even going to lie on this one- I totally focused on color coordination, bouquet shapes and seating charts in those six months of 2011 before our wedding (and 9 months in 2010.) But, I will say that hubs and I did make time…
Today is a big day. As I mentioned a few months ago, Reckner has been thinking about starting a blog. I, of course, have been very supportive of this. She is much more creative than I and a much better writer. My greatest concern, naturally, is that her blog will be way cooler and more popular than mine. But that’s something I am just going to have to deal with.
Reckner spent the last few days thinking about the theme, title, and overall attitude of her blog. After much thought, she started putting work in yesterday and went ahead and posted a few times in anticipation of the roll out.
I do not typically make New Year’s resolutions. However, this year I decided to. I didn’t want to make huge resolutions that were unattainable. I’ve found that many folks do this and then they go to the gym for three weeks and then just get fat again. My resolutions all stem from one topic (focusing) and all seem quite attainable. So here you go.
This is the big one for me. I’ve noticed that I have a difficult time focusing. And while I could do what many of my law school classmates do and go to a doctor to get an Adderrall prescription, I think I’ll stick with the more natural (less cheating) way of doing it. As it stands, I make a list at the beginning of every day that includes both mundane tasks and more lofty goals. I want to work on crafting lists in a way that provides the most efficient means for completing all goals in a given day.
Part of this is using the Internet far less than I currently do. Recently, I read an article that 75 percent of the time people sit down to use the Internet they don’t have a specific reason. It’s just a portal for wasting time. And I do that often. I’d like to think that I use the computer to read a lot, but like everyone else online I end up using it to look at GIFs and Facebook. When an opportunity presents itself to use a book instead of a computer I’m going to seize that opportunity (e.g., looking up recipes).
The last part of this is simply that I want to focus on one thing at a time. This part combines the first two paragraphs of this resolution. When I make a list, I’m going to attempt to complete one task at a time. Focusing solely on that task and not thinking about other tasks until that one is finished. Also, by using the Internet far less, I will be less likely to bounce around websites viewing new material every 30 seconds.
(2) Read more stuff outside of my comfort zone
I used to subscribe to The New Yorker, which provided a vehicle to do this. While the magazine typically has one or two articles that range from somewhat to very interesting to me, many of the articles cover topics that I don’t know anything about or initially don’t seem interesting to me. I’m planning on either resubscribing to The New Yorker or finding another magazine that adequately helps me with this resolution.
I also used to read Arts & Letters Daily, which posts articles and books covering tons of stimulating topics. I might try to work this into my schedule again.
(3) Use Facebook way, way less
While this, technically, could fall under number one (above), it really deserves it’s on place on the list. Simply put, Facebook makes me dumber and makes me do a lot of mouth breathing. Ideally, I’d like to get of Facebook completely. However, it is an important means of communication. What seems like the best solution is simply limiting the amount of time, per day, spent on Facebook. I think 15 minutes a day is fair. Also, taking the app off of the iPhone will help.
(4) Cook more
Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Reckner’s dad bought me some new cookbooks for Christmas, and I intend to search the pages for great recipes to cook a few nights a week. There’s something very calming and rewarding about spending time in the kitchen crafting a great meal for friends and family. I recently began reading Pat Conroy’s cookbook (one of my gifts) and he discusses a similar mindset. As a child, he saw his mother slave away in the kitchen as a means of simply providing food so that her kids wouldn’t go to sleep hungry. Now, he cooks for a completely different reason — because he enjoys crafting new meals with different flavors. I like this idea. And I fully intend to rock and roll in the kitchen in 2012.
Sorry for the late response. I have been pretty bad about blogging and checking Tumblr over the holidays. My friends and I took over the bar of an old downtown Raleigh hotel. It’s not a very trendy spot, but it looks out over downtown and when you have 30 of your closest friends are you it doesn’t really matter where you are.
It was a great evening. I hope everyone had a nice New Year.